Although distracted driving has always been a problem, recent advances in technology have made this one of the biggest—and deadliest—problems on our nation’s highways and roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,000 people died in distracted driving accidents in the U.S. in 2019 alone.
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you could be entitled to compensation. In some cases, you may not need to prove that the other driver was to blame; however, if your damages exceed available no-fault insurance coverage, you may be able to file a third-party personal injury claim or lawsuit against the distracted driver.
When most people think of “distracted driving,” they think of using a cellphone while driving to talk or text. While this is certainly an example of distracted driving—and one of the most common at that—it is not the only way in which a driver can be dangerously distracted behind the wheel.
In fact, there are three main types of driving distractions:
Most driving distractions combine two or more types. For example, texting while driving involves all three types of driving distractions: the driver’s eyes are off the road and on their phone, they have at least one hand off the steering wheel to hold their phone and/or type a text message, and their mind is on the contents of the text, not on driving.
In addition to texting while driving, some of the most common driving distractions include:
These and other driving distractions can be incredibly dangerous, putting the driver, their passengers, and everyone else on the road at risk.
In 2017, the state of Utah enacted laws banning the use of cellphones and other handheld devices to send, receive, or view text messages while driving. In Utah, texting while driving is considered a primary offense, meaning law enforcement officers can pull someone over specifically for texting while driving.
The law also prohibits:
Although there is currently no ban on talking on the phone using a handheld cellphone or similar device, Utah does have a “careless driving” law. Under this law, an individual can be cited for driving carelessly and endangering others, which can include using a cellphone while driving or engaging in other distracting behaviors behind the wheel.
Regardless of the cause, if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident in Utah, your first step is usually to file a claim with your own auto insurance provider. Under the state’s no-fault system, you can file a personal injury protection (PIP) claim and recover up to $3,000 for medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages. This is true regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
However, PIP coverage is limited. If your medical expenses exceed $3,000, or if your injuries meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold, you could be entitled to go outside the no-fault system and file a claim against the person or party who caused the crash. This allows you to seek compensation for all of your damages, including both economic and non-economic losses.
Our Salt Lake City distracted driving accident lawyers can help you determine if you have grounds for a third-party claim to seek compensation for the following damages:
When a person is killed in a crash or dies due to accident-related injuries, certain surviving family members can recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. In such cases, the death of the individual is considered grounds for going outside of the no-fault system.
If you or someone you love was injured by a distracted driver, you are likely going through a lot. At Steele Adams Hosman, we understand just how difficult it can be to get back on your feet. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and guide you through the legal process.
We offer free consultations and contingency fees, so there is absolutely no risk or obligation in speaking to a member of our team about your potential case. If we do not recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf, you do not pay us a dime. Based in Salt Lake City, our firm serves clients in Cottonwood Heights, Ogden, Sandy, West Jordan, West Valley, and all of the surrounding areas.
At Steele Adams Hosman, we are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. Call our team today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. There is no fee unless we win your case!
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